Modeling the effect of active fiber cooling on the microstructure of fiber-reinforced metal matrix composites

Nguyen Q. Nguyen, Sean D. Peterson, Nikhil Gupta, Pradeep K. Rohatgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A modified pressure infiltration process was recently developed to synthesize carbon-fiber-reinforced aluminum matrix composites. In the modified process, the ends of carbon fibers are extended out of the crucible to induce selective cooling. The process is found to be effective in improving the quality of composites. The present work is focused on determining the effect of the induced conductive heat transfer on the composite system through numerical methods. Due to the axisymmetry of the system, a two-dimensional (2-D) model is studied that can be expanded into three dimensions. The variables in this transient analysis include the fiber radius, fiber length, and melt superheat temperature. The results show that the composite system can be tailored to have a temperature on the fiber surface that is lower than the melt, to promote nucleation on the fiber surface. It is also observed that there is a point of inflection in the temperature profile along the particle/melt interface at which there is no temperature gradient in the radial direction. The information about the inflection point can be used to control the diffusion of solute atoms in the system. The result can be used in determining the optimum fiber volume fraction in metal matrix composite (MMC) materials to obtain the desired microstructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1911-1922
Number of pages12
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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